Microsoft Solitaire

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Solitaire
A component of Microsoft Windows
Solitaire Vista Icon.png
Solitaire 7.png
Solitaire in Windows 7
Details
Included with Windows 3.0 up to Windows 7, Windows 10
Related components
FreeCell, Hearts, Spider Solitaire

Solitaire, also known as Microsoft Solitaire[1] (including in the About box in some versions), is a computer game included with Microsoft Windows, based on a card game of the same name, also known as Klondike.

History[edit]

Microsoft has included the game as part of the Windows operating system since Windows 3.0, starting from 1990.[2] The game was developed in 1989 by then intern Wes Cherry,[3] who famously received no royalties from his work. The card deck itself was designed by Macintosh pioneer Susan Kare.[4]

Microsoft intended Windows Solitaire "to soothe people intimidated by the operating system", and at a time where many users were still unfamiliar with graphical user interfaces, it proved useful in familiarizing them with the use of a mouse, such as the drag-and-drop technique required for moving cards.[2]

Lost business productivity by employees playing Solitaire has become a common concern since it became standard on Microsoft Windows.[5] In 2006, a New York City worker was fired after Mayor Michael Bloomberg saw the Solitaire game on the man's office computer.[6]

Microsoft Solitaire celebrated its 25th anniversary on May 18, 2015. To celebrate this event, Microsoft hosted a Solitaire tournament on the Microsoft campus and broadcast the main event on Twitch.[7]

Features[edit]

Since Windows 3.0, Solitaire allows selecting the design on the back of the cards, choosing whether one or three cards are drawn from the deck at a time, switching between Vegas scoring and Standard scoring, and disabling scoring entirely. The game can also be timed for additional points if the game is won. There is a cheat that will allow drawing one card at a time when 'draw three' is set.

In Windows 2000 and later versions of Solitaire, right-clicking on open spaces automatically moves available cards to the four foundations in the upper right-hand corner, as in Freecell. If the mouse pointer is on a card, a right click will move only that card to its foundation, provided that it is a possible move. Left double-clicking will also move the card to the proper foundation.

Until the Windows XP version, the card backs were the original works designed by Susan Kare, and many were animated.

The Windows Vista and Windows 7 versions of the game save statistics on the number and percentage of games won, and allow users to save incomplete games and to choose cards with different face styles.

[edit]

Despite Solitaire being included for free for 25 years,[8] it was not included in Windows 8 or Windows 8.1.[9] Microsoft produced a new adware version[10] called Microsoft Solitaire Collection that users download though the Windows Store, paying $1.49/month or $10/year to be able to play the game without watching a 30-second ad.[9][11] Microsoft personalizes the ads by tracking what the user browses online and which apps they use.[12][13] The software, developed by Arkadium, includes Klondike and 4 other solitaire games, as well as daily challenges and other features. The game adds a valueless[14] in-game currency in order to increase monetization of users.[15]

Gizmodo characterised the change as a way to "nickel and dime" users, writing that "something which used to come on your PC for free is now corrupted by ad buys."[16] PC Gamer wrote: "The ads in question aren't small banners that appear at the bottom of the screen while you play. They run over the full Solitaire window, some for 15 seconds and some for 30 seconds, and while they don't seem to pop up very often ... they can't be aborted."[17] The Telegraph wrote that users are in "disbelief" that they would have to pay to play a game without being "interuppted by a slew of adverts."[18] Rock, Paper, Shotgun said that the changes are a "particularly heartbreaking sign of the times" and that some users would find it "profoundly sinister" that "a large corporation is gathering and storing vast amounts of data on your computing habits, and not simply what you do in a browser."[13]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "General Protection Fault When Starting Microsoft Solitaire". Support. Microsoft. 26 October 2013. 
  2. ^ a b Levin, Josh (May 16, 2008). "Solitaire-y Confinement: Why we can't stop playing a computerized card game". Slate.com. The Slate Group. 
  3. ^ Cherry, Wes. "Interview with Wes Cherry - B3TA.com 2008". B3ta.com. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  4. ^ "Susan Kare personal website showing her design for Microsoft Solitare". Kare.com. Retrieved 22 August 2014. 
  5. ^ Church, George J. (October 12, 1998). "Quarterly Business Report: Do Computers Really Save Money?". Time. Time Inc. 
  6. ^ Hu, Winnie (10 February 2006). "Solitaire Costs Man His City Job After Bloomberg Sees Computer". The New York Times Online. The New York Times Company. 
  7. ^ "Celebrating Microsoft Solitaire". Blogging Windows. May 18, 2015. 
  8. ^ Callaham, John (31 July 2015). "Here's what Microsoft says about Windows 10's version of Solitaire and its ad-supported model". Windows Central. Mobile Nations. 
  9. ^ a b Kamen, Matt (30 July 2015). "Windows 10 makes you pay to remove ads from Solitaire". Wired UK. Condé Nast. 
  10. ^ Kingsley-Hughes, Adrian (28 July 2015). "Want to remove the ads from Solitaire in Windows 10? That'll be $1.49 a month". ZDNet. CBS Interactive. 
  11. ^ "Windows 10: You'll need to pay for Solitaire". Sky News. Australian News Channel Pty. 1 August 2015. 
  12. ^ Hern, Alex (1 August 2015). "Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. 
  13. ^ a b Meer, Alec (30 July 2015). "Windows 10 Is Spying On You: Here’s How To Stop It". Rock, Paper, Shotgun. Rock Paper Shotgun Ltd. 
  14. ^ Hachman, Mark (27 July 2015). "Microsoft wants you to pay for Solitaire, again, in Windows 10". PC World. IDG. 
  15. ^ Luckerson, Victor (29 July 2015). "Windows 10 Solitaire Costs $9.99 a Year". Time. Time Inc. 
  16. ^ Walker, Alissa (29 July 2015). "If You Want Microsoft Solitaire Ad-Free It'll Cost You $10/Year". Gizmodo. Gawker Media. 
  17. ^ Chalk, Andy (29 July 2015). "Windows 10 Solitaire requires a subscription to remove ads". PC Gamer. Future plc. 
  18. ^ Ward, Victoria (31 July 2015). "Windows 10: Now you have to pay to play Solitaire". telegraph.co.uk. Telegraph Media Group. 

External links[edit]